Saving On Minimum Wage

Recently there have been several PF blog posts focusing on the minimum wage and the thought that most PF blogs are out of touch with the minimum wage earner.  Since I earn the minimum wage I’m going to share my thoughts on this subject.

I earn the MO minimum wage of $6.50 per hour.  I do also receive tips and supplement my income with other sources so overall I make more than the minimum wage.  However I didn’t work the first three months of the year and I usually work less than 40 hours so my annual income will be close to that of a full-time minimum wage worker.

I do believe it is possible to get ahead on minimum wage although ideally you would seek a job earning more income as soon as possible.  My current job is delivering pizza and my restaurant has never been fully staffed.  Every city I’ve lived in there was always plenty of openings at restaurants.  It might not be the greatest job but it does allow you to make a bit more than minimum wage and pays the bills until you can find something better.

To get ahead on minimum wage you definitely need to be frugal.  If you click on my expense/income tracking category you can see how I’ve been spending my money.  By watching my spending I’ve been able to pay off debt and/or increase my savings every month.

Here is what I have done since April:

  • Paid off approximately $1600 in credit card debt
  • Paid cash for over $1000 of oral surgery/dental expenses
  • Established a $1000 emergency fund
  • Opened a Roth IRA and funded it with $700
  • Paid off $575 in student loan debt
  • Bought private health insurance

I also paid a significant tuition bill and had large car repair expenses.  I may not be getting rich but I’m definitely making progress.  My current goal is to put 50% of my income towards savings or paying down debt.  If I can do this on minimum wage than so can others.

Depression and Money

Sorry for not posting the past few days. I’ve been experiencing a bout of depression and when in this state I don’t feel like doing anything. Not even things that I like such as blogging.

I know some people are probably thinking if I weren’t a Tight Fisted Miser and would spend some of my money I wouldn’t be depressed. It doesn’t work like that for me though. I’ve tried spending my way out of depression in the past and it didn’t help. That is how I ended up having to declare bankruptcy eleven years ago.

I’ve learned to keep my depression from causing me to waste money. Depression still hurts me financially though. It keeps from doing things to increase my income. It makes it difficult for me to keep a job and keeps me underemployed. Part of the reason I’m working the jobs I currently have is because they are so mentally and physically easy that I can deal with them even when depressed. The biggest impact depression is having on me currently is law school. It led to my poor decision to transfer schools and it led to me not putting in enough effort in school and being put on academic probation. I’m trying to work through it now but it is making it difficult for me to concentrate on the paper I have to write to be considered for re-admittance. It is better today and I hope it stays that way.